Coming into Spring Training, no one believed there would eventually be a need for the Washington Nationals to delve deep into the farm system to find big league catchers. Boy, would people be surprised.
2012 Prediction (ZiPS): .215/.289/.311, 2 HR, 16 RBI, 44 games, 135 AB
2012 Actual: .000/.182/.182, 0 HR, 1 RBI, 4 games, 9 AB
Wilson Ramos came off a terrific rookie season in 2011, in which he finished 4th in Rookie of the Year voting, and Jesus Flores was poised to serve as a solid backup. However, after Ramos tore his anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee in early May and Double-A call-up Sandy Leon then went down with a high-ankle sprain in his May debut, manager Davey Johnson and co. needed to bring up yet another catcher to fill the void at back-up. Next in line was Triple-A starter Carlos Maldonado.
A career minor leaguer, Maldonado came into the 2012 campaign with a total of just 54 major league at-bats under his belt since 2006. He wouldn’t make much of an impact for Washington, as his short tenure with the big league club was cut short to just two full weeks as he himself would suffer a lower back injury and be forced to the 15-day DL. Maldonado played in just four games and went 0-9 with two walks and an RBI in that span.
Following a return from the disabled list, Maldonado was outrighted to Triple-A on August 6, where he spent the majority of his time this season. He played 54 games in the minors and batted for a .205 average with six homeruns and eleven RBIs. As reported on DoD yesterday, the 33-year-old catcher declared for free agency October 16.
Season Highlight: No true highlight for Maldonado, except for maybe when he recorded his one and only RBI in a losing effort against the Baltimore Orioles on May 19.